St. Bonaventure University

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Film, forum focus on PFAS Dangers

A public screening of the film “Dark Waters” followed by a forum with scientific and legal experts, will draw attention to health risks associated with a group of man-made chemicals that have been detected in food, soil, drinking water and even breast milk.

4:30 Tuesday, Oct. 19
Rigas Family Theater
Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts
Free and open to all

Public invited to film, forum on 'forever compounds'

Presented by the School of Arts and Sciences at St. Bonaventure in collaboration with the university’s Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts, this program begins with a showing of the film "Dark Waters" in the Quick Center’s Rigas Family Theater at 4:30 p.m., followed by a half-hour discussion by a panel of scientific and legal experts.

Dr. Scott Simpson, associate professor of chemistry at St. Bonaventure, was awarded a research grant from the National Science Foundation in 2019 to investigate so-called “forever compounds,” known by scientists as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Through the collaborative research effort of scientists at St. Bonaventure and at the State University of New York at Buffalo, identification of emerging PFAS is underway in an attempt to determine how long these compounds stay in the environment and aid in the assessment of potential health risks.

“There is evidence to show that PFAS exposure can lead to adverse health outcomes in humans,” said Simpson. “The Environmental Protection Agency has established health advisories for two of these compounds. However, more than 5,000 different PFASs are potentially released from the multiple formulations produced throughout the U.S.”

Film exposes consequences of PFAS contamination

“Dark Waters,” a 2019 PG-13 legal thriller starring Mark Ruffalo, Anne Hathaway, Tim Robbins and Bill Pullman, tells the story of a years-long legal battle waged by attorney Robert Bilott against the DuPont chemical corporation after unexplained cattle deaths in West Virginia. DuPont eventually settled more than 3,500 disease cases for $671 million.

Bilott to join panelists for forum

Bilott will join Simpson and two others for the panel discussion following the film. He will participate via teleconferencing technology, joining the three others who will be on Rigas Theater stage.

Meet the panelists:

    Event Registration Form

    If you plan to attend the Oct. 19 screening of the film "Dark Waters" and the forum to be held immediately after, please complete and submit this form. The form will remain posted here until the 321-seat capacity of the theater is reached.

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